Aging is a humbling process. Things easily done before can seem out of reach – sometimes suddenly. Some things we need to let go of as we age – like skiing in the Olympics or being a contestant on Survivor. (Who wants to eat bugs anyway?) Some things we lose can be recovered but it is not always easy to know the difference…
With aging it is too easy to just think – I can’t do that anymore…
For me a recent illness felt like a really quick trip to what old age holds. I learned that moving fast was not an option. I was fearful about exercise but I recognized that I needed an exercise plan that helped my body recuperate while not injuring myself.
I recently had major surgery. I had gone from power yoga, to no yoga, to gentle yoga, back to no yoga. I felt that I was giving up something that was really essential to my wellbeing. Yoga provides me with a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie without competition. It has soothed my soul and psyche through more than one major life crisis. Exercise, balance, and friends are just some of the things that disappear as we leave jobs and lose our faculties… friends… did I say friends?
Being patient and persistent helps with recovery, but doing it alone is not easy. It is easy to give up. It is easier to do nothing than to figure out a way around the new health obstacle.
After surgery, injury or illness it is particularly hard. Going into surgery I knew I was going to have a long recovery. Doctors tell you not to do strenuous things until they release you post op – maybe in six weeks. Six to eight weeks without yoga is a very long time going without and going it alone.
I have done yoga at work and at various studios for a number of years and I have encountered many yoga-teaching styles so I knew who the perfect candidate was to guide me on the journey to recovery. I had a plan. I knew a woman who could help me with a recovery who understood physiology, the way the body heals, and the need to very gradually reawaken the mind, muscles, tissues, and joints.
I needed a soothing and gentle experience. I needed someone with patience and someone who would slow me down if I tried to move too fast – expecting my body to respond the way it did when I was whole.
Lisa Rogers’ teaching style was gentler than many other yoga instructors. I did not appreciate her approach at all during my power yoga phase – she had substituted on occasion for other teachers. I did not realize that there would be times in my life that I needed that really gentle approach. I wanted to sweat, move with power, and force my mind to let go of stress through my pores and straining muscles.
After my surgery I was terrified of causing damage to my already fragile body. I am so thankful to have had an alternative yoga practice to fall back on. I finally get why yoga was not just for the agile and able bodied. Yoga is for everyone.
Lisa Rogers came to my house week after week – even when gentle breathing and quiet meditation was all that I was capable of – and all that I needed. Each week Lisa assessed my condition and tailored the hour yoga practice according to my needs. She emphasized just doing what felt good and paying attention to my body. We started slow with arm lifts and gentle neck and shoulder stretches and over the weeks graduated to other parts of my body as I was able.
I am most thankful that, as I have regained my strength and health, that I am not starting at zero – having vegetated over these past two months. Lisa has worked to help me to keep my muscles gently stretched, and my attitude positive.